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Diageo announces first foray into non-alcoholic sector

Published:  05 July, 2016

Alcoholic drinks giant Diageo is set to offer consumers a no-hangover alternative with an investment in its first distilled non-alcoholic spirit.

Distill Ventures, the Diageo-funded accelerator programme for innovative drinks brands, has confirmed its investment in SEEDLIP, believed to be the world's first distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand.

This is a first for Diageo, which has some of the world's most famous alcoholic drinks brands on its books, including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness.

Helen Michels, global innovation director of the futures team at Diageo said the move reflects the growing popularity of the alcohol-free sector.

"We recognise the opportunity of non-alcoholic drinks and our portfolio already includes Guinness Zero in Indonesia, Guinness Malta in Africa and more recently Orijin Zero in Nigeria. We continue to explore and invest in this area and, in SEEDLIP, we have found a unique product which gives people a complex and refined drinking experience," she said.

SEEDLIP was created by entrepreneur Ben Branson - no relation to Richard - to solve the dilemma of 'what-to-drink-when-you're-not-drinking'

"With SEEDLIP we're effectively developing a new drinks category, appealing to consumers looking for a refined alternative to alcohol," Branson said.

"This really was pioneering work and partnering with Distill Ventures has helped me understand the industry, shape the product I dreamed of, and launch it in the right way."

Shilen Patel, co-founder of Distill Ventures added that as the non-alcoholic trend grows, more bars and restaurants are looking to offer high quality non-alcoholic options as part of their range.